HSEMD has worked with government and private-sector partners to develop statewide capabilities that may be used for the benefit of all Iowans. Homeland security and emergency response teams are recognized under Code of Iowa 29C, and are deployed as a resource to supplement and enhance disrupted and overburdened local emergency and disaster operations. These teams may also be deployed to provide assistance to other states under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.
Click on the tabs for more information about each team.
Iowa has built a Bomb Squad Task Force to provide statewide coverage for the detection and disposal of explosive ordnance. The task force is built on a foundation of eight nationally-accredited state and local teams in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Marion, the Quad Cities, Waterloo, Johnson and Pottawattamie Counties, and the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Iowa’s Bomb Squad Task Force is fully operational and ready to be deployed to any location in the state. All of the members of Iowa’s task force program are nationally accredited and have bomb technician certifications.
Iowa’s Incident Management Team (IMT) is a cadre of multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional professionals, activated to support incident management at large or complex incidents, disasters or special events. The IMT has been developed at the state level to provide support to local officials who become overwhelmed during a long-lasting disaster event. The team serves in a support function, filling in for fatigued personnel and providing technical advice. Through the local county emergency management agency, a local incident commander may request deployment of Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Mangagement Division's IMT to perform incident support.
Iowa Task Force 1 (IA-TF1) is Iowa’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team. IA-TF1 team members have been trained and equipped to locate, rescue and provide initial medical stabilization to victims in confined spaces, including collapsed structures, transportation accidents, and mines and collapsed trenches. The team was built on existing capabilities and resources, is comprised of the Sioux City and Cedar Rapids fire departments, and draws additional membership from fire and rescue professionals from across Iowa.
The state has built a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team Task Force to provide statewide coverage through the use of eight tactical teams capable of handling high-risk situations which require special weapons or extraordinary special operations. Iowa now has statewide coverage for these types of incidents with four local and two state tactical teams.
The local teams are the Cedar Rapids Police Department, Metro Star (combined Des Moines Police and Polk County Sheriff), North Central Iowa Narcotics Task Force (Mason City area law enforcement agencies), and Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office. The Iowa State Patrol has provided two teams.
Iowa’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) HazMat Team was established to enhance the capabilities of existing fire department hazmat teams to provide statewide coverage for on-site testing and identifying, assessment and support for render-safe operations involving increasingly sophisticated improvised explosive devices and those that may contain chemical, biological, radioactive, nuclear or explosive (CBRNE) materials.
Fire department hazmat teams from seven Iowa communities make up the state WMD HazMat Team: Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Sioux City and Waterloo. These departments were chosen based on their existing hazmat capabilities.